Overheard in St. Petersburg – 2

UPDATE We can now confirm that indeed Lotus has contracted with John Judd for their Indy Car engine. More in our rumor called Overheard in St. Petersburg – 3 to follow.

03/25/11 Although Bryan Herta Autosport only announced a 1-race deal (Indy 500) for Dan Wheldon, word on the street is that they are close to putting together a multi-race package with a number of sponsors. No sponsor was announced for the Indy 500 today…………HVM has hired former Panther Racing engineer Brent Harvey to replace the departed Mike Cannon who is now with KV Racing……..We hear that the first new body kit for the 2012 IndyCar will be on display this May at Indy and the first engine (we hear Honda) should be on the track by July Randy Bernard told AR1.com……We asked Bernard about the status of Lotus as all had gone quiet on their proposed engine for 2012. "They have had a change in plan and another engine builder is going to do their engine," said Bernard. "It is not going to be Cosworth but that is good because that saves Cosworth for another manufacturer in 2013." AR1 sources tell us that John Judd will now do the Lotus engine and the deal is done. As for Cosworth, we hear they are talking to a few European manufacturers……….On a related topic we hear that Jacques Villeneuve is trying to put another deal together for the Montreal NASCAR Nationwide race and if he were to make a run at the IndyCar final and the $5 million prize it will have to be with a top team…….We hear that Octane is pushing to run a Nationwide race in Toronto, which would kill the IndyCar event there. Secretly Octane is 50% partner with the France family in Canada and we all know that the France family has no love for IndyCar. If the Toronto IndyCar race has another bad year it just might, sadly, happen. Now if Villeneuve and Paul Tracy had a ride for Toronto it might have a chance of drawing a much bigger crowd……..We hear that Oriol Servia's sponsor with Newman/Haas will be announced soon and James Hinchcliffe is still looking good for landing the second seat at Newman/Haas……Spotted Marco Andretti ignore two fans that were but 12 feet away hanging over a fence trying to get his autograph. He proceeded right past them, just ignoring them, and that in our book is wrong at so many levels. Every single driver in the paddock must spend every available minute selling the sport and making fans. There is no room in this sport for prima donnas. Mark C. reporting from St.Petersburg.

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